Berry looking to bounce back

The Union defender is finally healthy and looking to contribute

Austin Berry believes the bad luck is gone.

He’s sure had enough of it.

The Philadelphia Union defender has dealt with a high ankle sprain, a fractured rib and the stomach flu. All of these issues have kept Berry on the sidelines for stretches this season.

Berry has remained positive and he’s anxious to help the Union make a playoff push. He feels great and is hoping the ailments stay in the past.

“It’s been a crazy year, one I’ve never had to work through before,” Berry said. “It’s been one thing after another. I would get better, work my way back and then something else would get me. This is new to me and I have to believe I’m on a good path now.”

Berry has been able to play in six league matches, making it difficult to mesh with his teammates.

“Finding a rhythm has been tough because I’ve been out for so long,” Berry said. “I gain two steps and then I take two steps back. I’ve been a bit frustrated, but I know all I can do is keep working to get back on the field with my teammates. This is a great locker room and we have a solid group here. I’m a competitive person and I want to be on the field with them, helping the club earn points and putting us in the thick of the playoff race.”

Berry had always been a durable player.

The 25-year-old was the 2012 Rookie of the Year with the Chicago Fire. He never missed a match in two seasons with the Fire, starting all 62.

That’s obviously the goal with the Union.

He’s healthy and stoked about the stretch run.

“I’ve talked to players in the league who have been through things like I’m going through,” Berry said. “Maybe this is just my year where everything that could go wrong will go wrong. Maybe it’ll all be out of my system. I’ve never really been injured or sick as many times like this, so I have to think it’s a rare thing that won’t keep happening. I feel good now and hope that my name is called. It’s much better to be on the field than sick or injured off it.”

If there’s a blessing in the setbacks, it’s this: Berry has been able to gain a different viewpoint.

“I’ve been able to see some things that will be helpful,” Berry said. “You can kind of see how plays develop and maybe get a new perspective. I’ve just tried to maintain a positive attitude and learn everything I can. It will all help me down the road.”

What do you think Berry's role will be going forward? Leave your comment below.

Contact Union writer Andy Jasner at andy.jasner@yahoo.com